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REX: 2 New planes in August

REX: 2 New planes in August

REX – especially its Deputy Chairman The Hon. John Sharp AM has been very vocal of late, on everything from Qantas dominance to their refunds policy. The overall impression created is that REX is not doing well despite an overall trend showing vast improvement in passenger numbers versus the same time in 2020.

To give you an example, total domestic airline passengers carried (across all airlines) April 2020 v April 2021, has seen 2,600 % increase (from 17,100 to 2,609,400 passengers) according to Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication figures. Remember that April 2020 was right after the beginning of Australia’s pandemic outbreak in March.

More Boeing 737-800s

Their proposed plane leasing tells another story. REX has just signed a Letter of Intent to lease 2 Boeing 737-800NGs from late August, bringing their 737 fleet to 8. The aircraft are schuduled to start flying in September. That means the airline has gone from zero to 8 x 737s in the roughly 6 months since November 2020. Not bad by any measure.

‘Rex currently operates 737 services from Melbourne to Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, and Canberra and from Sydney to Gold Coast.’

Deputy Chairman, the Hon John Sharp AM

Ever one for a bit of biffo with competitors, The Hon J. Sharp goes on to say:

‘Consequently, Australians now do not have to choose between full service at inflated prices and poor and unreliable services at lower prices’.

Deputy Chairman, the Hon John Sharp AM

In case that’s not clear, he is referring to Qantas and Virgin Australia – in that order.

REX hopes to add another two 737’s before the end of 2021 and is inviting expressions of interest from potential lessors. The airline intends to deploy these aircraft on new domestic and major regional routes as customer demand improves.

Flying through lockdown

Rex issued another release to assure passengers that they were still flying during the NSW lockdown, although frequencies will be cut.

a jet plane spraying water on runway

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

REX projects quite an aggressive, defensive position in their public statements – especially from their Deputy Chairman. This is in stark contrast to their brand claim of ‘trademark country hospitality’.

I was scheduled to travel on their first day of flying between Sydney and Melbourne back in March 2021, but another outbreak in Melbourne put paid to that, given my end destination was Adelaide. I am sitting on a credit for that flight. I hope to share the experience of travelling on REX with you soon – after the current spate of lockdowns is over.

Also, you should know that I hold equities in REX, as I do with most Australian based airlines. You can find disclosure of my share, loyalty and affinity marketing interests in this website’s T&Cs.

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